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MPs Fail to Elect 1st Deputy Speaker, Secretary

MPs Fail to Elect 1st Deputy Speaker, Secretary

KABUL – The Wolesi Jirga — or lower house of parliament — on Monday again failed to elect its first deputy speaker and secretary, adjourning the voting to Tuesday. A day earlier, lawmakers Mohammad Saleh Saljoqi was elected as the lower house second deputy speaker and Irfanullah Irfan as secretary.

But three candidates for the first deputy speaker — Gul Badshah Majeedi from Paktia province, Ghulam Hussain Nasiri from Maidan Wardak and Ghulam Sarwar Faiz — failed to obtain the required number of votes (at least 73). Abdul Rauf Inami from Badakhshan, Zakia Sangin from Parwan and Semin Barakzai from Herat, who ran for the secretary position, also met the same fate, with the election going to the second round.

Majidi and Nasiri, who obtained the most votes in the first round, again failed to secure the required number of votes necessary for their election. Similarly, Sangin and Inami also failed to be elected in the second round of voting. For the first deputy speaker slot, Majidi received 62 votes in the second round of voting from the 165 MPs present. His rival candidate Nasir secured 31 votes.

Inami obtained 70 votes in the run for the secretary position and his rival Zakia Sangin 31 votes. Speaker Abul Rauf Ibrahimi ruled the third round of voting would be held on Tuesday. Under relevant rules, the first and second deputy speakers and secretary and deputy secretary of both houses are elected by members at the start of the new parliamentary year.

Last year, Mirwais Yasini was elected as first deputy speaker, Saleh Mohammad Saljoqi as second deputy speaker and Syed Akram as secretary. On Sunday, the Meshrano Jirga decided that its current administrative board should continue because 67 house members were being replaced after the provincial council elections slated for April 5.

The house agreed that the speaker, the administrative delegation, members of commissions should be elected after the provincial council elections and the introduction of new senators. The decision allows Mohammad Alam Ezedyar to continue as first deputy speaker, Haji Rafiullah Gul Afghan as second deputy speaker, Syed Farrukh Shah Janab as secretary and Syed Azizullah Ulfati his deputy. (Pajhwok)

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